CSR Guidelines for the Financial Sector - page 22

However, it is beneficial tomaintain a broad definition of CSR at the beginningwithout much limitation to capture as
muchCSR information during theCSR Assessment. Below is a suggestive list of such broad definitions:
- CSR is the firm’s practices and policies that contribute to thewellbeing of the environment, economy and society.
They address the needs of customers, suppliers, shareholders and employees, as well as those of government, the
general public and the communities where the firm operates, without compromising the ability of future
generations tomeet their own needs.
- CSR is theway the company integrates economic, environmental and social objectives while, at the same time,
addressing stakeholder expectations and sustaining or enhancing shareholder value.
- CSR is the overall relationship between the corporation and its stakeholders, which include customers, employees,
communities, owners/investors, government, suppliers and competitors. Elements of CSR include investment in
community outreach, employee relations, creation andmaintenance of employment, environmental stewardship
and financial performance.
- CSR is the responsibility the firm has to its stakeholders. It means that the firm’s products and services create value
for customers and contribute to thewell being of society. It means the firm operates using ethical business practices
and expects the same from its suppliers and partners. It meansminimizing the environmental impact of its facilities
and products. It means providing jobs, paying taxes andmaking a profit, as well as supporting philanthropy and
community involvement. It means treating employees with respect and being a good neighbor to the people next
door as well as those half aworld away.
In addition to defining the scope of CSR, theCSR Leadership Teammay wish to outline the key drivers and obstacles
to advancingCSR based on the identified and agreed on definition and scope of CSR.
Engaging people at all levels of the organization— from employees tomanagers andmembers of the board of
directors— from the very beginning in developing the definitionwill help ensure the approach the organization
ultimately takes toCSRwill resonate and be accepted throughout the organization.
The input of members of the board and seniormanagers can be particularly helpful in articulating a definition, since
they should be able to shed light on the initial motivations for launchingwork onCSR.
With a clear understanding of what CSRmeans to the organization and the drivers behind investing inCSR, theCSR
Leadership Teamwould need to zoom in to review the existing structure in the organization that affects ormay be
affected by CSR. This includes corporate documents, processes and procedures, current and planned activities etc.
SinceCSR is intended to be an integrated part of any business it would need to be integrated into the core business
structure, processes and decision-making. Accordingly, some of the documents to be reviewed include:
- Articles andmemorandum of association
- Business plans
-Mission and vision of the business
- Codes of conduct
- Sector –wide policies and codes the organization has signed into
- Etc.
Decisionmaking structures is also a key component to review and consider understanding and catering for a unique
CSR business case for every organization. For example understandingCSR pressure points or previous societal and
marketplace considerations can be extremely valuable in ascertaining how such considerationsmay affect the
decisionmaking process. Also, the lack of such considerationsmay be indicative of cultural changes needed.
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